LONDON – Norwegian offshore CO2 emissions intensity, already one of the lowest in the world at 7 kgCO2/boe, is expected to continue to decline as more of its platforms are electrified, according to Westwood Global Energy Group.
The Troll A platform in 1996 was the first in the industry to use dock power. Later, Gjøa became the first floating production platform in the North Sea to be supplied from shore.
In the same area, Martin Linge joined the club with what was at the time the longest AC cable in the world.
According to Stuart Leitch, Senior Analyst – Emissions & New Energies at Westwood, the ongoing electrification of Johan Sverdrup in the Utsura High area has created one of the most carbon-efficient oil and gas operations in the world.
Westwood has six platforms fully or partially electrified from shore, including Valhall and Goliat, in the Barents Sea. The six hubs represent almost 40% of Norwegian production in 2022, but only 10% of its offshore CO2 emissions, with an average emissions intensity of 1.7 kgCO2/boe.
The other non-electrified hubs in Norway have an average emissions intensity of 10.5 kgCO2/boe, also lower than the global average and lower than Westwood’s forecast for operations on the UK continental shelf this year of 20.9 kgCO2/boe.
Factors favoring electrification in Norway are:
- The regulatory framework, with a long-standing ban on routine flaring.
- The financial impact of license fees on emissions. Oil and gas operators must consider both the Norwegian carbon tax and the EU ETS (the former is historically higher).
- Relative maturity of Norwegian offshore infrastructure and fields. Existing hubs operate more efficiently with a higher fill volume, and the large number of large, long-lived fields helps justify the investment required for electrification projects.
- Onshore electricity provides a secure supply of renewable energy, with 92% of Norway’s electricity generated from hydropower in 2020 and 6% from wind, at a lower cost than others European countries.
- Electrification projects can benefit from shared infrastructures. Norway has relatively few operators and stakeholders, with common ownership.
By 2025, Westwood expects seven more hubs to be electrified, with the Utsira High Phase 2 project to come online by 2023. This will electrify Gina Krog, Ivar Aasen and Edvard Grieg with power from shore , with an additional power cable from Gina Krog to Sleipner allowing partial electrification of the Sleipner hub and indirectly Gudrun, via an existing power cable between the two.
The Hywind Tampen floating offshore wind farm in the North Sea will partially electrify the Snorre and Gullfaks platforms by 2023, while Troll B and Draugen should be by 2025.
This means that in 2025, more than 50% of Norwegian production will come from fully or partially electrified platforms, which will gradually increase the country’s emissions intensity to 6 kgCO2.2/boe.
Also under evaluation is Trollvind, a planned 1 GW floating offshore wind farm supplying the Bergen region and potentially supporting the electrification of Troll and Oseberg via an onshore connection point, possibly starting in 2027.
Westwood’s current emissions model highlights Oseberg as the largest CO in the region2 transmitter by 2028; partial electrification of Oseberg could nearly halve its CO2 emissions, reducing emissions intensity by 16.8 kgCO2/boe at 9.7 kg CO2/boe.